‘Hal’s Flute’ to premiere at Tokyo film festival

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

An animated film based on a story idea from the creator of the anime classic “Anpanman” will have its world premiere at the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival, the event’s organizers announced.

“Hal’s Flute,” a 48-minute short directed by Hiroshi Kawamata, follows a raccoon dog that finds and raises a human baby who eventually becomes a musician.

It was produced by the anime studio TMS Entertainment Ltd., and features the voice actresses Keiko Toda and Masako Nozawa.

“Magic Tree House,” an animated feature based on Mary Pope Osborne’s children’s book, will also be premiered at the event, to be held between Oct. 22-30 at Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills theater and elsewhere.

“Magic Tree House,” which is slated to hit cinemas across Japan in January, was directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori and features the voices of Keiko Kitagawa and child actress Mana Ashida. The script was written by Ichiro Okouchi and the score comes from the acclaimed Akira Senju.

“Tatsumi,” an acclaimed anime from the leading Singaporean director Eric Khoo, will be screened in the “Winds of Asia-Middle East: Film Panorama of Asia-Middle East” program and will compete for the best Asian film award.

The film, which was inspired by the life and work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, the father of the comic genre called “gekiga” (dramatic pictures), won two Eisner Awards in 2010 and was showcased in the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. Japanese actor Tetsuya Bessho stars as one of its voice actors.

Other highlights at the Tokyo festival include “Muybridge’s Strings,” which will be showcased in the “No Animation, No Future” program. The director, Oscar-nomination-winning animation artist Koji Yamamura, is scheduled to make a guest appearance. The section will also present an anime adaptation of the tennis manga “Aim for the Ace!”

Fifteen films were picked from 975 works submitted from 76 countries and regions to take part in the Tokyo festival’s competition section. The festival will also showcase more than 100 films outside the competition.

For more information, visit (http://2011.tiff-jp.net/en/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.